by Bernice Lipkin

When there's two sides of an issue — and when isn't there at least two sides? — we usually try to help the side we agree with by actively showing them support. If we subscribe to the notion there is a group of Muslims that can be called moderate and they are against the traditional radical Muslim, we figure it should help the moderates if we amplify and broadcast their message and if we loudly assert the radicals are bad guys.

In an article back in June 2016,[0] Caroline Glick quoted Jeffry Goldberg, volunteer spokesman for ex-Prez Obama, thus: "in Obama's view, discussing radical Islam is counterproductive because it harms the moderates who need to stand up to the radicals."[1]

In what way does it harm the moderates? Obama's answer: "Pointing out that there are Muslim fundamentalists will only strengthen them against the modernizers."

Several reporters have elaborated on this assertion. They argue that Trump's outspokenness alienates moderate Muslims.


This odd idea of not stomping on the bad guys because it will offend the moderates appears to have been perpetuated and brought over to the current administration by the State Department and the CIA. Years ago CIA was known to be an agency that believed in a Muslim version of the tooth fairy, i.e., the Moderate Muslim. Apparently, organizations that used terrorism only when they felt it was necessary were moderate Muslims. A decade ago the CIA funded publications that insisted the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) was moderate. President Erdoğan of Turkey, busy returning his people to life under strict sharia law, has often scolded those whitewashing Islam. He says "There is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam and that's it." The mullahs loudly insist that there is no such thing as Moderate Islam, but the CIA's official opinion hasn't changed.

The CIA is still discouraging the US Government from labeling the MB as a terrorist organization. In an internal agency report, they warn of dire consequences should the MB be designated as a terror organization. Blake Hounshell and Nahal Toosi, in a February 2017 article in Politico Magazine, stated[2] that the CIA memo warns that the Trump administration risks driving Muslims into the arms of Al Qaeda and ISIS. They listed other dire consequences:

"CIA experts have warned that so labeling the decades-old Islamist group [MB] 'may fuel extremism' and damage relations with America's allies, according to a summary of a finished intelligence report for the intelligence community and policymakers that was shared with POLITICO by a U.S. official."

"The document, published internally on Jan. 31, 2018 notes that the Brotherhood—which boasts millions of followers around the Arab world—has 'rejected violence as a matter of official policy and opposed al-Qa'ida and ISIS.'"


"Noting that there are branches of the group in countries such as Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco and Tunisia, it [CIA] cautions that some of America's allies in the region 'probably worry that such a step could destabilize their internal politics, feed extremist narratives, and anger Muslims worldwide.'"

"'MB groups enjoy widespread support across the Near East-North Africa region and many Arabs and Muslims worldwide would view an MB designation as an affront to their core religious and societal values,' the document continues. "Moreover, a US designation would probably weaken MB leaders' arguments against violence and provide ISIS and al-Qa'ida additional grist for propaganda to win followers and support, particularly for attacks against US interests."

Translating CIA into English:

Labeling MB as a terror organization

Surprisingly, Hounshell and Toosi, editor-in-chief and foreign affairs correspondent, respectively, at Politico Magazine, don't seem to know that CAIR was declared an unindicted co-conspirator during the prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation. Moreover, CAIR was documented as a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. At least the duo didn't mention that relevant fact when they reported that:

"Robert McCaw, government affairs director at CAIR, said that groups like his were the real target of the anti-Brotherhood campaign. 'The U.S. Islamophobia network and its political allies are pushing this designation to create a new era of religious McCarthyism where being an American Muslim or an advocacy organization pushing back against anti-Muslim rhetoric is enough to disqualify you from civic participation,' McCaw said."

Hounshell and Toosi do touch upon legal issues involved in determining that an organization is a 'terrorist group'. The article does not state what the criteria are. But they cite Eric Trager, an analyst at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, who acknowledges that MB

"support, on an ideological level, terrorism. They cooperate with terrorists. They give a platform for terrorists. But there is not sufficient evidence to show they send their own members to commit terrorism, and that is the standard for a designation." [emphasis added]

Ordinarily, if an individual wants an illegal act committed where he can not be seen to be the instigator or he doesn't have the skills, he hires someone. For example: Mr. A. gives Mr. B. money to hack a competitor's files. Mr. B. is not on Mr A's payroll. Nevertheless, Mr. A. is legally responsible for the crime.

The membership requirement seems simultaneously both stringent and inadequate. It doesn't cover situations where a mullah incites his audience on social media or TV to violent action against a targeted event or location or person. It doesn't cover the situation where mullahs inspire mosque members to dedicate themselves to serve Islam by terrorizing the community.

Actually, when visualizing how a terrorist organization trains and equips the agent and facilitates the entire operation, it is hard to figure out how a specific act of terrorism can be carried out by anyone who is not more or less affiliated with an organization that identifies the promising future terrorist, trains him or at least inspires him to do his all for Islam and provides him with tools and resources. The links between the managers and the actors may be through multiple links. The agent may or may not know who is actually running the show. The script may be tight or loose. The action may be so complex as to require much training and coordination among many people or so simple that the agent is often mislabeled as a lone wolf. The ordinary ways we visualize membership in an organization do not seem to apply.

Having argued the reasons to expect non-congruence of formal membership and participation, it is also true that linking a terrorist to, in Trager's terms, "a cooperating" element of the Muslim Brotherhood network is made easier, because, from its inception the Muslim Brotherhood has insisted that unquestioning obedience by its members is essential. The agent will follow MB's style of doing things, which makes identifying the MB as manager easier. But that's a long way from having particular and specific evidence of membership. It is unlikely a new member is issued a card authenticating his membership. Nor does the MB publish their rules for membership. How does one become a member of MB? Does he take a test? Send in character references from current members? Sign a contract? Blow up a pizza parlor? Declare loyalty by signing in blood obtained by pricking a finger like little boys used to do?

Nor is it likely that management transmits an order in a tidy fashion that is easy to fit into Procrustian legal requirements. Recall that a few years back CIA stupidly helped the MB expand in Europe, under the illusion the organization was 'moderate' — whatever that means in context of a fanatic group whose mission is to make sharia law the law of all lands. Why, with all the information available to the CIA analysts, don't they have the smarts of an ordinary American who can understand how pernicious the MB is.

A BETTER WAY TO ASSESS WHETHER AN ORGANIZATION IS TERRORIST is to look at the group's activities, its accomplishments, its ideology, who it hangs out with, who it supports ideologically. Two reports are of interest. One is called the "Muslim Brotherhood Review." Rowan Scarborough published an article on it in The Washington Times.[3] This report on the Muslim Brotherhood contradicts the U.S. views. Scarborough writes:

The British government has issued a blistering report on the secretive Muslim Brotherhood, with findings that contradict some favorable U.S. views — including the Obama administration's — of the Islamic fundamentalist fraternity.

The investigative paper says the Brotherhood promotes (and sometimes takes a role in) violence; seeks world domination of Shariah, or Islamic, law; and views other religions as illegitimate. Its senior leaders "routinely use virulent anti-Semitic language" and have justified the killings of American and other coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

To this day, Brotherhood leaders say the U.S. government fabricated the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and that the war on groups such as al Qaeda "is a pretext to attack Muslims," the British report says.

The report, simply titled the "Muslim Brotherhood Review," appears to be unprecedented in these politically correct times in that a Western government is confronting a Muslim group that is an ideological organizing force but not overtly a transnational terrorist organization.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said the investigation was conducted to determine whether the Brotherhood is contributing to violence in his country and elsewhere by creating an environment for extremists to act.

"The movement is deliberately opaque and habitually secretive," Mr. Cameron said.

The second document is a report entitled The History of the Muslim Brotherhood, produced by 9 Bedford Row in London. It was commissioned by the State Lawsuit (Litigation) Authority of Egypt and was issued April 2, 2015.[4] It capably carries out its mission, which is "to provide an overview of the history of the Muslim Brotherhood looking at its structure, organisation and activities." Rather than using a chronological format, the History of the Muslim Brotherhood looked "at the issues and used a comparative approach."

As part of carrying out its mission, the report examines the relationship of MB to al-Qa'ida, the Islamic State, Boko Haram and other terrorist organizations. The report comments on "The Muslim Brotherhood's continued material support for these groups." Chapter 4 details the specific evidence. These paragraphs are summary:

204. The close association between the Muslim Brotherhood and militant Islamist groups such as al-Qa'ida, Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Islamic State, Boko Haram, al-Shabaab and Sinai Province goes beyond a superficial regional link. These actors all share the same fundamental ideological values that have their roots in the Muslim Brotherhood.

205. As a result, irrespective of the variant in tools used, the Muslim Brotherhood continues to provide material support to these militant Islamist groups. In doing so, the Muslim Brotherhood aims to edge closer to its own ultimate purpose - the creation of a pan-Islamic caliphate via the promotion and use of violent means.

206. Tracing the origins of the various militant Islamist groups clearly shows that the roots of such groups lay within the Muslim Brotherhood. As held by former Kuwaiti MP, Dr. Ahmad al-Rab'i, ultimately the founders of most modern terrorist groups in the Middle East emerged from the mantle of the Muslim brotherhood.

Perhaps the Obama establishment gave up too easily in looking for ways to establish the obvious: the Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist organization. Those reluctant to label the MB for what it is should follow the Bedford Group's lead and

"focus upon the origins of the Muslim Brotherhood's paramilitary branch, the 'Secret Apparatus', and the central role it has held within the movement throughout its history..."

The report also reviews "the impact of the brief period in which it [MB] was in power in Egypt and during which it managed to cause significant social, economic and political (as well as national reputational) damage." In both Europe and America, it has developed impressive networks of politicians and media people. In the USA, despite the laws on security clearance that discourage hiring individuals with affiliations to foreign nationals,[5] when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, she was able to install Huma Abedin as her Deputy Chief of Staff.[6] Huma's father, now deceased, was a leading figure in the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt; her mother is a prominent member of the Woman's Division of the Egyptian MB.

The MB is more than just a terrorist group. It is more than a terrorist organization that gives rise to multiple front organizations and many terrorist organizations. It uses terrorism when it needs to. It uses the law of the land when it can. It aims at more than simply terrorizing the civilian population. It has political ambitions. It's goal is to re-install the Caliphate and enforce sharia law globally by various means. But there is no reason why the American government can not start to thwart this enemy of civilization by accurately identifying one facet of its many roles: it is a terrorist organization.



[1] Blake Hounshell and Nahal Toosi, February 08, 2017,"CIA Memo: Designating Muslim Brotherhood Could 'Fuel Extremism',"




[5] Guideline A; and Guideline B.


Bernice Lipkin is managing editor of Think-Israel.

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